May 17, 1998
SACRAMENTO, CA -- The Cal men's varsity eight defeated the top-ranked Washington Huskies, to complete a sweep of the mens eights titles at the Pac-10 Rowing Championships on Lake Natoma, May 17. The Bears claimed their first varsity title in 16 years and it was only the third time in history that all three of the Cal mens eights posted victories at the same championships. The Washington varsity had not lost to a U.S. collegiate crew since May 1996.
The Cal frosh eight started the day off with a come-from-behind win. After trailing the Huskies for the first 1500 meter, the Bears pulled even with UW with 500 meters to left in the race. After Cal coxswain Franco Arieta shouted, "Were running out of room. Its time to go." The Bears took a half length in the next 20 strokes before going on to win by 2.7 seconds.
The Golden Bears JV were next. The JVs, like the frosh eight, were not only battling for a Pac-10 title, but also trying to keep an undefeated season record in tact. The Cal JV took a one length lead in the first 500 meters of the race and never looked back. The JV eight increased its lead all the way down the course before crossing the line 7.8 seconds ahead of Washington.
The varsity race was a showdown between the No. 1 and No.2-ranked crews in the USRowings preseason coaches poll. Cal got off the line quickly and established a one length lead over the undefeated and defending national champion Huskies by the 500 meter mark. At the 1000, Cals margin was beginning to shrink and with 500 meters to go, the bears led by only six seats, but Cals sprint to the finish preserved the victory for the Golden Bears.
"Were very happy," said coach Steve Gladstone. "Today we accomplished three of the goals we set back in September. However, we still have the toughest racing of the season ahead of us at the IRA national championship May 28-30."
The success of the Cal eights as well as a second-place finish in the varsity four secured the Bears the overall mens points trophy. Cal varsity oarsmen, Sebastian Bea, Djordje Visacki, Sture Bjorvig and Andrea Stevanovic received all-Pac-10 recognition.
Results: Pac-10 Rowing Championships
Men's Varsity Eight
Men's JV Eight
Men's Frosh Eight
Men's Varsity Four